UPDATE 11.30am: THE exchange of letters between Annastacia Palaszczuk and Nicklin Independent Peter Wellington that enabled Labor to form government included a commitment to greater election donation transparency a spokesperson for the Premier said today.
The commitment was that "Labor will work with the ECQ and the other parties to develop a real-time online system of disclosure of electoral donations".
Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam said the Sunshine Coast community had set a benchmark for election campaign donation transparency during the 2016 local election campaign which saw nearly all councillors commit to revealing who donated and how much in advance of the poll.
Mr Hallam said a state government review was under way of which local government was a part.
He stopped short of endorsing a ban on donations from developers and their associates saying everyone had a fundamental right to enter the political process.
"If we are talking about developers we also have to take about unions," he said.
"The issue is transparency and immediacy. The Sunshine Coast community has set the bench mark and that will figure in the thinking."
Mr Hallam said the issue of obscuring the identity of donors through third party vehicles also needed addressing.
The actions of groups in relation to the Gold Coast City Council elections was now subject of an investigation.
"There is a criminal test. If you mislead the Electoral Commission Queensland about the true nature of your candidacy you can face seven years in jail.
"There is no question about the penalty. The question is how well written is the legislation to reflect the intent of parliament."
Mr Hallam said he remained confident with the rigorousness of the planning process at local government level which had been the subject over a long period of rumours and accusations but had not resulted in convictions or findings of wrong doing.
"The big bucks are in regional planning at a State Government level," he said.
"There is no question councils have powers but they are increasingly directed by regional plans.
"The big bets and options are placed on where future growth goes.
"At a council level discussions are held in full public gaze. With Cabinet no one knows."
Mr Hallam said the bulk of local government planning decisions were done very well.
But he said connotations were made in relation to campaign donations which could create perceptions.
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OSCAR president Ian Christesen asked how many incidents over how many years had to be brought to the attention of successive governments before actions were taken.
OSCAR and Development Watch set up the disclosure log used by most councillors during the recent local government election campaign.
"The issue has been going on for decades," Mr Christesen said.
"Two corruption inquiries decades apart found the same thing. What will it take to force change.
"The lack of it shows the depth of vested interest at the heart of political parties in this state.
"The last local government election campaign showed in a simple form how reform can happen.
"With candidates' co-operation we had real time disclosure. It's happened elsewhere and it is not complex."
INITIAL REPORT: NICKLIN MP and Speaker of the House Peter Wellington will write to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today urging a change to Queensland electoral donation laws to exclude developers and their associates in the wake of relevations Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale lobbied the Newman State Government to approve Sekisui House's ambitions at Yaroomba.
Mr Wellington said the law needed to be changed by the next state election to not only ban developers but to require real time disclosure of campaign donations so voters "know who's backing who".
He said it has been revealed since the recent local government elections that a political party backed candidates who had been promoted as independent.
"The voters didn't know and that's not on,'' Mr Wellington said.
"The government has the capacity to introduce legislation. There is no need for delay.
"It should test the legislation on the floor of the Parliament. It knows it has my support and it would also have Rob Pyne's."
Mr Wellington, who argued the case for donation reform ahead of the recent council elections, threw his support behind the disclosure log set up by community groups OSCAR and Development Watch.
The ABC this morning revealed Mr Pisasale, who had received campaign donations from Sekisui House, had lobbied the then Premier Campbell Newman on September 23, 2013, in support of a planned Yaroomba development which at that stage was unknown to the community.
On May 29 last year, after Sunshine Coast Council had in April rejected an intensive development proposal, Sekisui House chairman Isami Wada wrote to Mr Pisasale asking him to intervene.
"I was very disappointed the Sunshine Coast Council does not share your passion to drive the region into the future and create opportunity,'' Mr Wada wrote.
"It would be very much appreciated if you could extend your ongoing support to Toru and Stephen (Sekisui executives) to rectify the problem."
Sekisui House has since told the ABC translation and distance were responsible for the wording of the correspondence.
Mr Pisasale's 2013 letter to Mr Newman was sent immediately prior to the then Premier embarking on a South East Asian investment mission.
He returned on October 2, to announce a billion dollar five-star hotel investment at Yaroomba as part of a suite of development proposals across the state.
At the time project manager Evan Aldridge said the 20-hectare remaining land parcel opposite Palmer Coolum Resort already carried approval for high-end residential development.
He said company was now looking at the potential for a hotel, retail and residential mix to best exploit the value of the unique site.
"Whatever we do will be in keeping with existing development and would not impose on the site,'' Mr Aldridge said.
"The view lines and visual aesthetics will be maintained. It will be a well-staged project constructed over time."
Mr Newman said his government had prioritised tourism as one of Queensland's four economic pillars and the international market had responded.
Mr Wada said he was keen to move ahead with what was then called the "Living with Nature" development as soon as possible.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said the proposal signalled a healthy interest in the region's tourism industry.
"It will lift confidence and unplug the dam holding back investment,'' Ms Simpson said.
"It's the tipping point.''
However as community opposition grew and the scale of what was being proposed became apparent, Ms Simpson said her support was only for development in keeping with the planning scheme.
The final Sekisui House proposal released in March last year included two 10-storey buildings, six eight-storey buildings, three at seven storeys, four at five storeys and two at four storeys.
Development Watch spokesman Brian Raison said by deducting dwellings already constructed and land already subdivided for future residential building construction, Sekisui's remaining entitlements under the master plan for the site at the time it purchased for a maximum of 315 dwellings, of which 175 may be apartments; 138 of these apartments are to be contained in six 4-storey buildings located at the disused Hyatt Beach Club area; and other dwellings to have a maximum height of 2 or 3 storeys, depending on location.
Sekisui House has been approached for comment.